Tega Cay city manager search heads to interview stage

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comJanuary 23, 2013 

— Tega Cay’s search for a city manager now kicks into a new gear, as interviews begin and the pool whittles down to a set of finalists.

Jan. 21 was the deadline for applications, though being a holiday – MLK Day – Mayor George Sheppard expects the city may hold open the cutoff one day. Late last week Sheppard said he was pleased with the response so far.

“It’s going well,” Sheppard said Thursday. “We have about 33 applicants to date.”

Early on, applicants represented the Southeast region of the country. Of late, response broadened.

“They’re coming in from all over the country,” Sheppard said.

The city can’t leave the position entirely without someone performing city manager duties, and City Council planned to vote to appoint an interim city manager at its Jan. 22 meeting. At press time, no name had been given for that job.

Interviews weren’t to begin until after the resume cutoff. Councilman Stephen Perkins said last week that the pool, even prior to late entries, was impressive.

“We’ve got some viable candidates for the position.”

The city manager position opened when Dennis Pieper, who came to Tega Cay in that role in 2011, left in December for a similar job in Fort Mill. Pieper was chosen from a poll of about 70 applicants. The town needn’t be concerned that the figure this time around was, just days before the deadline, about half.

“Some of that may be by design,” Perkins said.

Last time around, the city advertised the position with an international association for municipal managers. This time, posting was handled through the S.C. Municipal Association. The idea, Perkins said, was to emphasize candidates with strong knowledge of the laws and forms of government in South Carolina.

Yet, he said, Council isn’t drawing hard lines in looking for the next city leader.

“We’re going to look for the best person for the job,” Perkins said.

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